Mercury pollution is an ongoing problem around the world. Exposure to mercury in the environment has been linked to a variety of reproductive, cardiovascular and other human health problems. Airborne mercury from electricity plants usually finds its way into waterways and eventually the ocean where it is taken up by successively larger marine life as it works its way up the food chain. The top ocean predators such as tuna and swordfish contain relatively large amounts of mercury in their fatty tissue as a result of eating smaller fish which have in turn eaten even smaller forms of marine life.
Consumers can limit their mercury intake by minimizing our consumption of these larger fish (including albacore canned tuna), but the problem will linger long into the future even if we start to reign in mercury pollution domestically, especially because the cleaner technologies being implemented here may take decades to find their way to power plants in poor and developing countries. CONTACT: EDF’s “Mercury Alert” Report, www.edf.org/top25.